Derek Fawcett

Position
Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments
Expertise
songwriting
country music
R&B
improvisation
pop rock
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Derek Fawcett has shared stages with Peter Frampton, Ben Folds, America, Lifehouse, and Pat Benatar, and backed up Chance the Rapper at Lollapalooza. Across five albums with Down the Line and three as a soloist, he has toured much of the U.S. and parts of Canada, Europe, and South Africa. He will soon complete a master’s degree in songwriting from New York University and is a member of the music faculties at Berklee, Columbia College Chicago, and Southwestern Community College. He also hosts The MusicAnswers podcast, an in-depth discussion of the rights of music creators.

Career Highlights
  • Shared stages with Peter Frampton, Ben Folds, Pat Benatar, America, and Lifehouse, among others
  • Backed up Chance the Rapper at Lollapalooza
  • Studied songwriting with Phil Galdston, Rosanne Cash, Swagg, and Kevin Killen
  • Recorded Feel Better album in Nashville, produced by Cody Fry and Niko Xidas, bass by Tim Marks (Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie, Jewel), featured guitar by Mark Trussell
  • Performances with Kurt Elling and Mark Murphy at Western Michigan University
Awards
  • Recognized by Columbia College Chicago for Excellence In Teaching
  • Recipient of the New York University Creative Projects Grant
  • Recipient of the New York University Wasserman Grant
  • Recipient of the New York University Lawrence J. Ferrara Scholarship
  • Co-winner of the Downbeat Student Music Awards Best Jazz Solo Vocal award
Education
  • M.M., New York University, songwriting
  • B.M., Western Michigan University, jazz studies
In Their Own Words

"All people possess gifts. It's my job to help students bridge the gap between what they know and don't know about their gifts. It's my hope that all students who work with me will walk away with a clearer idea of who they are as musicians, what they still need to figure out about themselves, and where to go next."

"I've been wonderfully fortunate in my professional career and have been able to achieve a great deal of the goals to which my students aspire. As a result, if a student is singing with technique that would be unsustainable across a lengthy tour, I can speak with some authority on that because I've lived it myself. If a song has shortcomings, I can share the tools I use with them because I'm actively using them myself, and I've learned them from some of the best."

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